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Anti-Patterns in Product Management: Chasing Waterfalls

This anti-pattern I'm going to attribute to the field of Product Management, but you'll see this one on your engineering team as well. Also, I say Product Management, but you'll recognise this pattern from a PM with more of an executive sales support focus.

Chasing Waterfalls occurs when we have identified (or believe we have identified) an opportunity for a significant chunk of revenue. That might be from a single eager customer willing to fund a feature or product.

Genuine opportunity becomes chasing waterfalls when the IP we're building is not aligned with the core focus of our business. What looks like easy money is really a distraction. An unjaded PM is easily convinced that an isolated customer need is really a broad need shared by a cross-section of your user base.

The antidote to chasing waterfalls is validation through user feedback. Don't accept a commitment to build the whole thing up-front. Instead, recruit a handful of users (current or potential), and confirm with them that the proposed functionality is actually something that they would find value in.